I thought I was doing a good job as a Dad. It turned out that I was missing something vital.
If you've ever wondered why kids resent their parents, this video will help ensure it doesn't end up happening to you.
Here's the full excerpt on conscious parenting from Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth:
Many children harbor hidden anger and resentment toward their parents and often the cause is inauthenticity in the relationship. The child has a deep longing for the parent to be there as a human being, not as a role, no matter how conscientiously that role is being played. you may be doing all the right things and the best you can for your child, but even doing the best you can is not enough.
In fact, doing is never enough if you neglect Being. The ego knows nothing of being but believes you will eventually be saved by doing. If you are in the grip of the ego, you believe that by doing more and more you will eventually accumulate enough “doings” to make yourself feel complete at some point in the future. You won't. You will only lose yourself in doing.
The entire civilization is losing itself in doing that is not rooted in Being and thus becomes futile. How do you bring Being into the life of a busy family, into the relationship with your child? The key is to give your child attention. There are two kinds of attention. One we might call form based attention. The other is formless attention. Form based attention is always connected in some way with doing or evaluation. “Have you done your homework? Eat your dinner. Tidy up your room. Brush your teeth. Do this. Stop doing that. Hurry up, get ready.” What's the next thing we have to do? This question pretty much summarizes what family life is like in many homes.
Form based attention is of course necessary and has its place, but if that's all there is in the relationship with your child, then the most vital dimension is missing and Being becomes completely obscured by doing, by “the cares of the world,” as Jesus puts it. Formless attention is inseparable from the dimension of Being. How does it work? As you look at, listen to, touch, or help your child with this or that, you are alert, still, completely present, not wanting anything other than that moment as it is. in this way, you make room for Being. In that moment, if you are present, you are not a father or mother. You are the alertness, the stillness, the Presence that is listening, looking, touching, even speaking. You are the Being behind the doing.
RECOGNIZING YOUR CHILD
You are a human being. What does that mean? Mastery of life is not a question of control, but of finding a balance between human and Being. Mother, father, husband, wife, young, old, the roles you play, the functions you fulfill, whatever you do – all that belongs to the human dimension. It has its place and needs to be honored, but in itself it is not enough for a fulfilled, truly meaningful relationship or life. Human alone is never enough, no matter how hard you try or what you achieve.
Then there is Being. it is found in the still, alert presence of Consciousness itself, the Consciousness that you are. Human is form. Being is formless. Human and Being are not separate but interwoven. In the human dimension, you are unquestionably superior to your child. You are bigger, stronger, know more, can do more. If that dimension is all you know, you will feel superior to your child, if only unconsciously. And you will make your child feel inferior, if only unconsciously. There is no equality between you and your child because there is only form in your relationship, and in form, you are of course not equal.
You may love your child, but your live will be human only, that is to say, conditional, possessive, intermittent. Only beyond form, in Being, are you equal, and only When you find the formless dimension in yourself can there be true love in that relationship. The Presence that you are, the timeless I Am, recognizes itself in another, and the other, the child in this case, feels loved, that is to say, recognized. To love is to recognize yourself in another. The other's “otherness” then stands revealed as an illusion pertaining to the purely human realm, the realm of form.
The longing for love that is in every child is the longing to be recognized, not on the level of form, but on the level of Being. If parents honor only the human dimension of the child but neglect Being, the child will sense that the relationship is unfulfilled, that something absolutely vital is missing, and there will be a buildup of pain in the child and sometimes unconscious resentment toward the parents. “Why don't you recognize me?” This is what the pain or resentment seems to be saying.
When another recognizes you, that recognition draws the dimension of Being more fully into this world through both of you. That is the love that redeems the world. I have been speaking of this with specific reference to the relationship with your child, but it equally applies, of course, to all relationships. It has been said “God is love” but that is not absolutely correct. God is the One Life in and beyond the countless forms of life.
Love implies duality: lover and beloved, subject and object. so love is the recognition of oneness in the world of duality. This is the birth of God into the world of form. Love makes the world less worldly, less dense, more transparent to the divine dimension, the light of consciousness itself.